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Injury crisis forces probe into Curbs' medical staff

PUBLISHED: 11:36 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:12 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG WEST Ham chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson has demanded a full investigation into the club s medical set-up in a bid to curb the team s crippling casualty list. Defender Anton Ferdinand became the latest victim of West Ham s injury epidem

By JONATHAN CLEGG

WEST Ham chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson has demanded a full investigation into the club's medical set-up in a bid to curb the team's crippling casualty list.

Defender Anton Ferdinand became the latest victim of West Ham's injury epidemic this week when he was forced off with a hamstring problem at Bolton, and the club have responded by launching a major probe into the crisis.

Experts from Roehampton University have been drafted in to scrutinise every aspect of training and treatment, with Gudmundsson understood to be particularly frustrated by the lengthy recovery times of his crocked stars.

A West Ham spokesman said: "Some of the injuries have been unavoidable. But the board and manager want to make sure the club does not have a repeat next season. Every avenue will be explored."

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley has authorised the inspection of the medical set-up, but the results could leave him facing some difficult questions.

Curbishley overhauled the club's backroom staff following his appointment in November 2006, replacing the existing medical team and dismissing acclaimed head of technical support Niall Clarke.

Since then the Hammers have been plagued by injuries, with SIXTEEN first-team stars joining the sicklist this season.

The West Ham manager was also criticised for signing players with a history of fitness problems during the summer.

Curbishley splashed £13.5million on Craig Bellamy and Kieron Dyer before the season, but they have made a combined 10 appearances during the campaign.

The club's injury crisis now looks set to drag on into the summer after Curbishley admitted that Bellamy's abdominal problem continues to baffle the club's doctors.

"Bellamy is doing all the rehab but until he actually starts going out there and training, we cannot start thinking about when he can return," said Curbishley.

Long-term casualties Danny Gabbidon, Lee Bowyer and Nigel Quashie are also some way from a return to training, and the uncertainty could affect the club's transfer plans this summer.

Ferdinand is also unlikely to play again this season following a hamstring injury last weekend, which forced him off inside two minutes at the Reebok Stadium.

The defender was scheduled for a scan this week but Curbishley is pessimistic about his chances of making a return to action in the final weeks of the campaign.

"It looks like Anton will be out for the rest of the season," he said. "It sums up the problems we have been having this season but we just have to get on with it.

"We have been patched up most of the season but nothing is going to change.

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